Among numerous outdoor changes to the Saint Louis Art Museum was that to the museum's highly focal courtyard/roadway. Those involved in this aspect of the museum project included the general contractor, McCarthy Building Co., Inc. of St. Louis, MO; architect Powers/Bowersox of St. Louis; landscape architect Spaid/SWT Associates of St. Louis; stone installer John Smith Masonry of St. Louis; and Laticrete International, installation products manufacturer. â€œIn the past we've installed granite curbs but never an entire street,â€ said John J. Smith of the John J. Smith Masonry Co. â€œThe pavers utilized in the project were all different sizes in order to create a special designed pattern. The museum, the museum's location and the area's history make the project noteworthy and unique.â€
â€œThe Saint Louis Art Museum and the courtyard's statue of King Louis IX are major focal points in Forest Park as well as in the city of St. Louis,â€ stated Mike Sharamitaro of McCarthy Building Co. â€œOur building site was the location for the 1904 World's Fair. This project just has such great historical significance.â€
Bill Bowersox of Powers/Bowersox detailed the project as being not only unique but extremely predominant. â€œThis was a plaza/street basically,â€ said Bowersox. â€œThe courtyard is such a heavily traveled space that the area had to be designated like a highway. Laticrete Systems were essential for a quality granite installation. The museum wants this installation to last.â€
Carnelian red and black granite from Cold Spring Granite was utilized for this project in sizes of 1 x 4 feet, 6 x 6 inches and 4 x 4 feet. The 6- x 6-inch pavers were installed in the sidewalks, 1- x 4-foot strips were arranged in a running pattern in the main entry area and the 4- x 4-foot pavers made up the large plaza area. Approximately 38,000 square feet of pavers were utilized.
â€œGranite was chosen for the richness and durability it adds to the front of the Saint Louis Art Museum,â€ stated Sharamitaro. â€œThe designers felt that concrete or stamped concrete would not provide the same feel or life expectancy as granite.â€
Laticrete specified a â€œfull mortar bedâ€ designed with Laticrete 3701 Mortar Admix fortified with Laticrete 226 Thick Bed Mortar to achieve the setting bed for the pavers. In addition, Laticrete 4237 Latex Thin-Set Mortar Additive with Laticrete 211 Crete Filler Powder was also utilized along with Laticrete Tri-Poly Fortified Sanded Grout on this project.